Hey, everyone! I’ve got a great guest post for you today from Greg Johnson. Greg is a personal finance and frugal travel expert who leveraged his online business to quit his 9-5 job, spend more time with his family, and travel the world. He is the co-owner of the popular blog Club Thrifty where he teaches others how to spend less and travel more.
When it comes to money, most of us want the same thing: more of it.
Sure, you might be able to negotiate a raise, but that’s not your only option. The truth is, you don’t have to be at the mercy of your boss when it comes to growing your money.
Take control of your finances today by trying these four simple ways to make your money grow faster.
1. Track your spending, savings, and investments
If you want to gain control of your finances quickly, you need to start with two very important things: build a budget and track your money.
Creating a budget means making a plan for how you will spend your money each month (including savings). Then, you need to track how your actual spending aligns with the plan.
The tracking piece is super important, and something that newbie budgeters sometimes overlook. It isn’t enough to just plan how you’ll use your money. I mean, what good is a plan if you have no way to measure whether or not it’s working?
If you want to grow your money, you have to get serious about tracking your spending, savings, and investments.
It might sound like a lot of work, but there are several apps and software programs that can make it pretty painless. In most cases, you can simply sync your bank accounts and let the program do the work for you. Of course, if apps aren’t your thing, you can always use an Excel spreadsheet or kick it old school with pen and paper.
It doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it.
Without tracking your spending, you won’t know where your money is going. You won’t know if you’re on track to meet your goals either. And, if you’re not measuring your success, it’s tough to improve your situation by growing your money even more.
2. Pay yourself first
It might seem obvious, but if you want to grow your money, you need to commit to saving some of it. But as many of us know, that’s easier said than done!
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. It really depends how you approach saving. If you plan to save only what is left after paying bills and setting aside spending money, guess what? You’re going to end up with a lot of money spent and not much saved.
The secret is to treat savings like an expense. That’s right: Act as if your savings is a bill you need to pay.
People tend to treat bills as a priority and saving as an afterthought. Train yourself to think of saving as being just as important as your other bills – because it is.
- Build a budget that includes a pre-determined amount of savings.
- Automate those savings.
- Don’t forget to reassess your plan every now and then to see if you can increase that pre-determined amount.
You know how bank accounts and credit cards allow for automatic bill pay? You can do that with your savings too! Set it up so that your savings are automatically transferred from your primary account to a separate savings account every payday.
This way, you ensure you always pay yourself first. Saving never falls by the wayside because it’s built into your budget. You never get a chance to miss the money because it feels like you never had it at all. Your savings account is separate from your main transaction account, so you’re less likely to dip into it.
What’s the best part? If you stick to this strategy, your savings account will grow quickly and continuously.
3. Start a side hustle
If you want to grow your savings, you can either spend less or earn more. Budgeting, tracking your spending, and paying yourself first can all help you spend less. But, what if you also want to earn more?
You may want to consider starting a side hustle. That means finding a way to make extra money outside of your full-time job. One option could be finding a traditional second job. However, a lot of people gravitate towards the flexibly that work-from-home jobs offer.
My favorite work-at-home side hustles are blogging and freelance writing, but those are far from the only options available. Depending on your skill set, you might consider proofreading, virtual assistant work, customer service, web design, or any other number of opportunities out there.
If you build your budget around your primary income, you can throw the extra money from your side hustle straight into your savings. Talk about major growth!
4. Find a residual income stream
Another sure-fire way to make your money grow faster is to build residual income.
Basically, it works like this: You invest an initial effort upfront, and – instead of getting paid just once – you continue to earn income over time. Sounds pretty sweet, right?
Establishing a residual income stream will help you grow your money in a couple of ways. Obviously, it’s extra income, and more money is more money. But the passive nature of residual income is important too.
Once you’ve done the initial work, you don’t have to invest a lot of time going forward. But you’re still making money.
That means you’re no longer trading time for money. Your ability to earn income isn’t directly limited by how many hours you have in your day. That’s huge!
Think about it: Trading time for money isn’t efficient. If you can earn income without continuously investing time, then you can use that recovered time to set up more money-making strategies. Just imagine the possibilities!
One good place to start might be finding dividend-paying investments. Investing in real estate is another great option. Regardless, if you’re serious about growing your money, start exploring your residual income options.
Growing your money takes discipline, but with these four strategies, it’s easier than you might think.
Start with a budget, get comfortable tracking your money, and make sure you pay yourself first. Earn extra income through a side hustle and at least one residual income stream, and your money is guaranteed to grow.